SITE VISIT: Patent Leather Inventors

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Science  24 Sep 1999:
Vol. 285, Issue 5436, pp. 2027
DOI: 10.1126/science.285.5436.2027d

If you weren't in Akron, Ohio, on 18 September for the induction of 10 particularly creative individuals into the National Inventors Hall of Fame, you can still check out the museum's honor roll at Inventure Place. The 1999 inductees helped design Prozac; a fluid catalytic cracking process used to extract gasoline from oil; and the microwave oven. They join 141 other famous and obscure inventors in the hall, which was established by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office in 1973 “to honor the individuals who conceived the great technological advances of our time and to foster continued innovative progress.”

Anyone can nominate, online, a favorite holder of a U.S. patent. The Hall of Famers are chosen by representatives of 40 scientific and service organizations, who judge nominees on how well their inventions have improved our quality of life. The site also features biographies of inventors, information on college scholarships, and tips for performing your own patent search and applying for a patent.

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